Here’s a story that our Twitter friend, @ExileDispatches, was sure was “doubtful”, but it’s not. It’s TOTALLY REAL. And now we are all a bit freaked out over it.
A squid blogger gives us the scoop on this story:
I’m here today to talk about a very strange paper: Penetration of the oral mucosa by parasite-like sperm bags of squid: a case report in a Korean woman.
This study, published in February in the Journal of Parasitology (?!), presents the tale of a woman eating squid who experienced “severe pain” and a “pricking, foreign-body sensation” in her mouth. A doctor found and removed “twelve small, white spindle-shaped, bug-like organisms” from her tongue, cheek, and gums.
These foreign bodies were subsequently identified as squid spermatophores, which I would like to point out are not “organisms” in any way. A squid, a human, a tree–those are organisms. A spermatophore is like a cup of semen–nothing more than an aggregation of gametes. And “bug-like”? Spermatophores don’t have legs. Or eyes. Or exoskeletons.
This paper was published back in February and is all over the news these past two days.
This has happened before, particularily in the case of eating raw squid but, in this case, it was parboiled or lightly cooked. Yet the structures were intact. The author, a squid expert, (blog is called “A Squid A Day”) notes that most squid food preparation in the Western world include removal of the internal organs so you eat only the muscle. So, you can safely consume delicious salt & pepper squid and calimari without concern. But, wow, nature is WEIRD.
Check out this blog for more on these amazing and strangly alien-like cephalopods.